ST. PETERSBURG — A bartender at the No Vacancy bar and restaurant in St. Petersburg’s Edge District has gained fame on Twitter for using a note disguised as a receipt to protect two customers from harassment.
The hidden message from Max Gutierrez: “If this guy is bothering you, put your pony tail on your other shoulder, and I will have him removed. He’s giving me the creeps.”
A tweet of gratitude from one of the women generated more than 46,000 retweets and 212,000 likes by Monday afternoon.
According to the Twitter thread, a man was aggressively hitting on the two women at No Vacancy and Gutierrez could see how uncomfortable they felt. One woman tweeted that the man had touched her.
“You need to get ... away from these girls who clearly are not interested,” Gutierrez told the man, according to the tweets.
“That was a little aggressive,” the man responded.
“Well you’re aggressively hitting on them and you need to leave,” Gutierrez said.
The hidden message was a twist on a wait staff-customer code that has been spreading in recent years: Ordering a fictitious drink called an “angel shot” to signal trouble.
Some bars post notice of the code in women’s bathrooms, according to news reports. Many follow this protocol: Order an angel shot neat and a bartender will escort you to your car, order it with ice and someone will call Uber or a Taxi, and order it with lime if you want police summoned.
The tweet from the No Vacancy customer was posted June 13. Gutierrez responded a few days later, saying he was the man pictured in the tweet and the one who wrote the note. Gutierrez added that the harasser had come back to No Vacancy a few days later and Gutierrez refused to serve him.
To hide his original message to the women, Gutierrez handed it to them on a clipboard normally used for receipts when customers close out their tab. Then, after the harasser was gone, Gutierrez posed while one of the women took a photo for the tweet.
Gutierrez later posted a note on Reddit, as well, saying he has learned how to read people’s body language from his mentors in bartending.
“I honestly don’t like yelling at customers or embarrassing people,” he wrote. “But I find it’s one of the best ways to handle creeps.”